The Canterbury Tales

Stories told by Chaucer’s pilgrims in the evening on the way to Canterbury, these mysteries often involve a supernatural element as well as a “proper” mystery. The series will return in 2012 with The Midnight Man with another title, The Soul Shadower to follow. Hurrah!

Vampires – well, Strigoi – stalk the streets of 14th century Oxford in a tale of mystery and terror. Who is responsible for the return of the lord of darkness? The Knight tells his tale of how three people, a knight, a clerk and a blind exorcist stood between the people of Oxford and a bloodbath.

Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories about the death of a queen. Isabella, that is, who also features in the Mathilde of Westminster series. And also the secret that is now being hunted by the shadowy Guardian of the Gates, willing to kill anyone who gets in his way – no matter who they are.

The Franklin tells a tale of a son’s quest to clear the name of his dead father, accused of killing the local lord and lady. Just a few hurdles to clear – a gang of murderous outlaws, a ghostly black knight stalking his late father’s manor and five visiting knights – one of which was the man who framed his father.

Phantoms abound as the Priest tells the rest of the pilgrims of how he had to find the truth about a terrible crime in the past in order to lay the ghosts of the present to rest. But are the ghosts gone for good – or is someone still watching even now?

A tale of witches and the gallows, set in darkest Gloucestershire. Simon Cotterill, a carpenter, joins the local hangmen, but soon finds that death at the end of the rope does not mean the end. And it can serious annoy witches when you try and kill them and don’t check that they’re really dead…

A tale of murder and greed and love that lasts beyond the grave. Who murdered Ralph the clerk’s beloved Beatrice? And despite the slight inconvenience of being dead, why is she the only person who can help him stop the killing in the castle?

The series returns with the tale of a haunted church. The Midnight Man, a mysterious warlock, has opened the door to the spirit world, but does he have baser motives? As Brother Anselm and his novice contend with otherworldly terrors, a human hand is searching for something – and will happily kill to get what they want.


  1. Does anyone know where (if) there is mentioned a gift of a nutcracker that Henry 8 gave to Anne Bolen in the Canterbury Tales? Numerous internet sources say that the earliest mention in English of a nutcracker is in the Canterbury Tales. I cannot find the reference…my research subject is nutcrackers, not the Canterbury Tales. Thanks.


    • A couple of confusions here. First, this page isn’t about Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales but those by Paul Doherty inspired by Chaucer’s stories. Secondly, as Chaucer predates Henry VIII by over 200 years, he doesn’t mention this. According to a little internet research, these are two separate early mentions of nutcrackers. Afraid that’s all I know.


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